USCIS Expands Green Card Eligibility for STEM Professionals


Employers can now directly sponsor these skilled professionals for green cards, bypassing the lengthy and intricate PERM process.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a policy revision that clarifies the fields eligible for a simplified green card process under Schedule A, Group II. This process targets individuals with “exceptional ability” in STEM areas, and the latest update expands the definition of what qualifies as a “science or art.”

WHAT’S NEW: The revised definition of “science or art” now includes any discipline in which colleges and universities typically offer degrees. As a result, a broader range of STEM experts may now be eligible for the Schedule A process.


  • Exceptional STEM Talent: The stringent criteria for “exceptional ability” remain in place. You must show international recognition and acclaim in your field.
  • Expanded Fields: Individuals with degrees in a broader range of STEM disciplines are now eligible.


To demonstrate exceptional ability, you must provide documentation that meets at least two of the following seven criteria:

  • International Recognition: Awards, prizes, or other recognitions from reputable international organizations in your field.
  • Membership in Elite Organizations: Membership in exclusive professional organizations that require significant achievements for admission.
  • Media Coverage: Articles or features about you or your work in prominent publications or media outlets.
  • Judging Expertise: Evidence of your participation as a judge of the work of others in your field.
  • Significant Research Contributions: Documentation of your original research that has made a substantial impact on your field.
  • Publications: Published articles in top-tier international journals or professional publications.
  • Exhibitions: Proof of your work being displayed at exhibitions or showcases in various countries.


  • Faster Green Card Process: The Schedule A process is quicker and less complex than the traditional PERM process, allowing employers to directly petition for permanent residency (a green card) for the foreign national.
  • More Opportunities: This update opens the door for more talented individuals to pursue a green card in the United States.
  • No Degree Required: International employees do not need to have a degree from a U.S. college or university to qualify.